At this very moment, there is an internal debate taking place inside Memorial Medical Center on whether or not to unionize. As registered nurses at Memorial, many of us believe that unionizing with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is not in the best interest of our nurses, our hospital or our patients.
Memorial is a great employer that excels in patient safety, gives us raises twice per year and appreciates us. Our management is hands-on and helps us to further our profession. They have an open-door policy, flexible scheduling and value our input. Memorial is our family, and we all work together as a team.
The California Nurses Association pressures nurses and spreads misinformation about our hospital in an attempt to obtain votes and the support of political figures. They have been dishonest about patient staffing ratios and patient safety. Memorial meets and often surpasses state staffing regulations. Patients are always given exceptional care by qualified nurses. CNA’s techniques can be underhanded and deceitful at times. Although prohibited, union representatives have been caught inside the hospital on multiple occasions. They have further lost respect by attempting to persuade RNs to vote yes while actively performing job duties.
If we become unionized, nurses will be forced to pay dues, even if they don’t wish to have representation. Over a lifetime, a single RN can pay more than $50,000 in dues. This money is used to support political causes that are not necessarily aligned with the views of our nurses. We deserve a partner that uses our money to better our organization, not the organizations of others.
Many nurses are worried about the length of time it takes for CNA to gain contracts with hospitals. For example, Sutter Tracy unionized with CNA two years ago but has still failed to secure a contract.
Nurses also fear the loss of income that can occur when being forced to strike. CNA has no “strike fund” to help us support our families while off work.
Strikes negatively impact the nurses, hospital and patients involved. We don’t want to be forced to abandon patients during their most vulnerable time. Our patients trust that we will make them our utmost priority and give them the highest quality of care. The patient that comes to Memorial Medical Center does not want to go anywhere else. There is no need for a union at our facility.
Beverly Epstein, a registered nurse at Memorial Medical Center, reflects the viewpoints of nurses who “wish to remain union free” in compiling this article.